Swiss Re’s natural catastrophe claims burden of $1.1bn in the third quarter was dominated by Japanese weather-related losses


Swiss Re has put a $1.1bn estimate on its third quarter natural catastrophe claims costs, some $500m of which caused by losses from Typhoon Jebi.

Japanese weather-related losses, including typhoons Trami (pictured) and Jebi, “dominated” its claims bill for quarter, net of retrocession and before tax, the Zurich-based reinsurer said.

September’s Typhoon Jebi was the strongest typhoon to strike Japan since Typhoon Yancy in 1993, Swiss Re noted.

Category 5-strength Jebi made landfall over Shikoku and the Kansai region of Japan, causing at least 11 deaths and more than 600 injuries across the region.

Kansai International Airport, one of the most important transport hubs in Japan, was closed due to flooding.

Total insured market losses for Typhoon Jebi are expected to be at approximately ‎$6bn, Swiss Re estimated.

“Swiss Re is a leading reinsurer in the Japanese market and expects to incur USD 500 million of reinsurance claims for Typhoon Jebi,” the firm added.

The company expects its claims burden from September’s Hurricane Florence to be $120m.

Sources of North American losses included the Carr Wildfire in California and a windstorm in Ontario, aggregate to another $500m of large losses for Swiss Re in the quarter.

Man-made losses, mostly to industrial business lines, added another $300m to Swiss Re’s third quarter claims burden.

These included the collapse of the Genoa motorway bridge in Italy, a shipyard fire in Germany, and the Ituango dam flooding in Colombia.

Swiss Re’s third quarter bill was large for an individual quarter, the reinsurer noted, adding that the cumulative losses for the first nine months were “broadly in line with year-to-date expectations”.

“With our strong capital position and high financial flexibility, we are able to react fast when our clients need us most,” said Swiss Re’s group chief underwriting officer, Edi Schmid.

“We also want to stress our continued commitment to providing capacity in Japan, where we demonstrated our steadfast support following the earthquake off the coast of Honshu in 2011,” said Schmid.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected by these catastrophes. We are working very closely with our clients and partners to help rebuild as quickly as possible,” he added.